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Hel, also known as Hella, Holle or Hulda, is the Ruler of the Aesir's Underworld, Helheim the Kingdom of the Dead.

The name Hel, quite literally means "one that hides" or "one who covers up." There once was a mythborn giantess named Angrboda, who lived in the Dark Forest. At one point in her life, Angraboda entered into a relationship with Loki, and it was from that union that they produced three children. The first child was the devouring Lupine, Fenrir (Fenris)-Wolf, the second child was the wyrm, Jormungandr, the Midgard serpent of the ocean that encircled the Earth, while the third child was simply known as Hel.

In the Aesir Kingdom of Asgard, several prophecies had been handed down to the Gods by both Frigg and Odin, warning them that three unique siblings would appear who would bring such terrible disaster, that nothing but evil would come of it. When the Gods first learned about the children, they realized almost immediately that they might be the same children that they had been warned about, their father being Loki, who's fidelity to the cause of the Gods is at best questionable.

Sadly, the child whose name was Hel had been born with the bones on one side of her body fully exposed. That made things extremely difficult for Hel, because her appearance caused the other Gods to feel so uncomfortable that they avoided having anything to do with her. Being seen as an oddity, being avoided, and having no friends was very difficult for Hel to deal with as a young goddess in a pantheon filled with beautiful blond haired scandinavian beauties. She was extremely unhappy, and filled with great loneliness and despair. After much deliberation, Hel made an important decision. She went to Odin and explained to him how difficult her life was there, and then she asked for his permission to leave Asgaard. Odin sympathized with Hel, so he granted her wish. Much more importantly, he also gave her the World of of the Dead, one of the Nine Worlds of Norse Mythology, to rule. He even went so far as to name that place after her, calling it Helheim or Hel. That was how Hel became the Goddess of the Dead. In return for giving her Helheim, Odin gave Hel certain responsibilities that she had to carry out in that realm. He charged her with caring for the souls of people who had died from sickness or old age, and for the souls of any other people whose deaths had not occurred through violence or in battle.

Hel settled into her Realm, and now, when the souls of the dead arrive there, it is she who judges them. It is also she who decides whether their souls are good or evil, and to what degree. Depending upon how they are judged, the souls of the dead are settled into one of the nine levels of Helheim, which ranges from what might be seen as a cold form of heaven, all the way down to the dark horrors of Neostrand (Naströnd), the abode of punishment. In there, Hel creates adequate tortures for the most wicked souls : for example pedophiles are strapped to a burning stone with barbed chains and have snakes constantly drop venom upon their eyes… When someone dies, and enters Hel’s realm, it is almost impossible for anyone in the World to get them back. Baldur knows that fact first hand… She fell in love with the Sun God when he died and was heartbroken when he was resurrected. She remains in love with him to this day, and she is quite jealous… She even killed Oshun to keep her paramour single.

Hel's appearance is fearsome, being half rotting dead and half radiantly beautiful. She has an eye of fire, which can see the true nature of a soul, thereby making it impossible for anyone to hide anything from her. Looking at this in a different light, Hel may actually be challenging the world to find the courage necessary to look behind the mask that is her appearance, so they might see her as she truly is inside. She inspired the masked harlequin, which has frequently appeared as a standard character in Commedia dell'Arte, with a black side of a face, and a white side.

As the daughter of Loki, Hel is not as power-hungry and manipulative as her father. Though she rules as a queen with an icy fist on her land, Hel is not particularly ambitious or vindictive. However, she is one of the best at her job and she extends her influence (in form of bribes, blackmail and spies) to other Underworlds who are - to her taste - pitifully organized (Like Guinee, Iriy or Tech Duinn…). She also explicitly states she would be a better guardian for Tartarus than Hades as, to quote her : a god so corrupted that he kidnaps and rapes his niece is not fit to be a jailer for creatures of corruption.

When she does visit the World, Hel has trouble finding men who can stand her secretive and yet impulsive personality. Sometimes, a mortal man finds in himself the patience and the care needed for Hel to feel a little confortable and sire a Godborn. Loners, generally ugly or repulsive, their presence is rarely tolerable : they have intense eye contact, stay silent for a long time when being spoken to and can even be borderline or bipolar in their behavior. They have trouble fitting within normal society and become cursed poets, creepy undertakers or extremely gruesome vigilantes. They are unpredictable, which makes them a great threat to titans, but also a wild card for a strategist.

Associated Powers

Fey Sorcery - Winter
Epic Toughness
Night - Void
Depths - Decay
Night - Obscurity
Spiritwalking - Necromancy
Spiritwalking - Soulbinding

Associated Abilities